Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi welcomed a boutique hotel last spring—complete with a spa and Michelin-starred chef. Hemingways Hotel features 45 luxury rooms, each with a private balcony overlooking the Ngong Hills. The new hotel joins two other Hemingways hotels in Kenya: one in Ol Seki Mara and one in Watamu.
A dedicated butler is assigned to each guest. Rooms are lavishly decorated with plush furnishings, mahogany woods, porthole-style mirrors, and black-and-white framed historical photos. Bathrooms feature luxuries such as hand-cut Italian marble, a double vanity, and walk-in wardrobe. Plugging in is easy thanks to complimentary WiFi.
At the fine-dining restaurant, Michelin-starred chef Barry Tonks—inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s molecular-gastronomy techniques along with a love for sourcing local foods, from fish to artisan cheese—bakes pastries, relying on skills he acquired at London’s Flourish Craft Bakery. His culinary resume also includes stints at Michelin-starred eateries in England: Chapter One (Kent), Putney Bridge (London), The Landmark (London), McClements Restaurant (London) and the Threadneedles Hotel (London). Fish are flown in daily from Watamu, including wahoo and Lamu spiny lobster. For a more intimate experience, the chef’s table can be booked for a private six-course dinner paired with wines. Guests can view the chef working in the kitchen via live camera.
Meals at the brasserie range from locally sourced steaks prepared in Kenya’s only Josper oven to vegetable-based entrees (the produce grown on Kenyan farms). Desserts like ile flottante are decidedly decadent. For afternoon tea, between 3 pm and 5 pm daily, flutes of Champagne are poured as the perfect pairing for opera cake, finger sandwiches, macaroons, and fruit tartlets.
Alongside the spa—where treatments like customized facials and massages (such as a pressure-point foot massage) are on offer—is a full salon for impromptu manicures, pedicures, and hair styling.